|www.corpun.com : Archive : 2009 : US Schools Dec 2009|
Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, 13 December 2009 [Florida paper, but story is about Georgia]
Glynn school board to consider bringing back corporal punishment
Some want corporal punishment to come back to Glynn schools.
By Teresa Stepzinski
BRUNSWICK - When the Glynn [Georgia] County school board's Safety and Discipline Committee meets Tuesday to discuss issuing Tasers to school police officers, it will also consider reinstating a form of discipline that could be even more controversial: corporal punishment.
Board member and committee chairman John Madala believes paddling is an effective tool needed to enforce student discipline. He placed the issue on the committee's Tuesday agenda.
Corporal punishment has not been used in Glynn schools in more than four years. The school board voted unanimously July 12, 2005, to remove it as a student discipline option.
At the time, school systems nationwide were banning paddling amid concern about potential lawsuits from parents and questions about its effectiveness in improving student behavior.
Madala, whose wife is a teacher, advocates bringing paddling back in at least the elementary and middle schools where its use potentially will be most effective.
"We've got to equip the teachers with the tools they need to maintain structure and control in their classrooms," he said. "Corporal punishment would be another tool in the box to control unruly students."
Unless unruly students are brought under control, they will continue to disrupt the classroom, resulting in the other pupils missing out on educational opportunities, he said.
© Copyright The Florida Times-Union. All Rights Reserved.
wpsdlocal6.com (WPSD-TV), Paducah, Kentucky, 14 December 2009
Teacher arrested after alleged paddling incident
HENRY COUNTY, TN - A substitute teacher is facing assault charges following a deal he made with students.
The Henry County Tennessee Sheriff's Department arrested 29-year-old Kristopher Sanders on Friday. This happened after investigators say students asked to do something other than school work.
Damon Lowe with the Henry County Sheriff's Criminal Investigation Unit says Sanders was substituting in the school's agricultural shop class. He told students if they made a wooden paddle and took one hit apiece, they wouldn't have to do class work for the rest of the period.
Three students agreed and cell phone video was later captured of the students being paddled. Even if the students did agree to the act, striking students in this way violates school policy. Investigator Lowe says the Sheriff's Office considers this extreme physical contact, and that Sanders didn't act in a disciplinary manner.
Sanders now faces three counts of assault. He has bonded out of jail and will appear in court on January 12th.
RELATED VIDEO CLIP
TV news report (2 minutes 10 seconds) on the above story, from WSMV Nashville, 15 Dec 2009. Josh Devine reports, noting that this school district does allow spanking for genuine discipline reasons. Includes a scene from the mobile phone footage in question showing one of the paddle swats. Interviews with various local officials.
HERE IS THE CLIP:
IMPORTANT: Copyright in this video material rests with the original copyright holders. This brief excerpt is reproduced under the "fair use" doctrine for private, non-profit, historical research and education purposes only. It must not be redistributed or republished in any commercial context.
Bristol Herald Courier, Tennessee, 15 December 2009
Bristol Tennessee Board of Education bans corporal punishment in city schools
By Roger Brown
BRISTOL, Tenn. -- The Board of Education voted Monday night to officially ban corporal punishment in the city's schools.
In a 3-1 vote, board members approved a recommendation by Director of Schools Gary Lilly to prohibit students from being paddled as a form of discipline. The new policy will take effect immediately.
Board member Kelly Buskell cast the only vote opposing Lilly's recommendation. Buskell made no comment Monday night to explain his vote, but previously said that although he didn't support corporal punishment, there was no need to officially ban it.
Board President Gwen Ellis joined fellow members Mary Brown and Nelson Pyle in approving the ban.
Tony Turner, a fifth board member, was absent from Monday's meeting.
The vote ended weeks of discussion by Bristol officials regarding the district's use of corporal punishment, even though Tennessee is among 20 states that legally allow it.
Lilly advised the board to ban paddling because he said it made school principals and other district officials vulnerable to possible legal action, particularly to accusations of improperly touching students. Lilly also suggested that Bristol had other, better means to effectively discipline students who misbehave -- without resorting to corporal punishment.
In recent interviews, officials for groups that want a nationwide ban on corporal punishment praised Bristol for moving to ban paddling.
David Fathi, director of the U.S. Program for Human Rights Watch in Washington, D.C., said the school board would "be on the right side of history" by dropping corporal punishment.
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